By Ryan Kaczmarski
The Rocky River High School diving team has a lot to be proud of, as the Pirates are sending three divers to the Division II state meet today in Columbus.
The contingent is led by freshman phenom Ryleigh Tuck-Macalla, who took top honors in the Division II district meet (held last Wednesday at CSU), is ranked third in the state and is also the current West Shore Conferenc girls diving champion. Tuck-Macalla has also broken multiple Rocky River High School diving records this season.
Pirates dive team captain Amanda Oster is also competing at state today, behind her fifth-place finish at the district meet, along with Ian Bokas, who finished in fifth-place on the boys side.
“I am excited to return to states, after making All-Ohio last year, especially because there were so many great divers at districts,” Oster said. “My teammates make this experience worthwhile, because we have a lot of fun together, while challenging each other to become better than we ever thought we would be.”
The success of the Rocky River team is due to, in large part, to the head diving coach Chris Dalman.
“Chris Dalman has been my coach since freshman year,” Oster said. “He has been a tremendous influence.”
Bokas is in his third year on the diving team, and his state-qualifying finish at districts has come on the heels of a month-long hiatus due to an injury. He hopes to make the All-Ohio team by placing in the top-16 at the state meet.
“Ryleigh, Amanda and Ian showed true dedication by showing up at the pool at 5:30 a.m. to practice every day, despite the snow or a late practice or meet the night before,” Dalman said. “It shows incredible character and work ethic to be up practicing the sport they love before most people are even finished dreaming, and begin making their morning coffee.
“It has been a joy and an honor to be able to be a part of these kids’ (lives), to guide them through this season, as they all wanted to be there and do their best. Their hard work has most certainly paid off, and I am very proud that all three of them will be representing Rocky River at the OHSAA state tournament.”
Joining the Rocky River diviers at the state meet is Fairview High School’s Alice Clark, who finished second to Tuck-Macalla in the girls Division II district meet.
Just missing the cut were Fairview’s boy diviers Iven Chaqueco and Alex Bauman, who finished eighth and 10th, respectively, and Bay High School’s Zack Ashbrook, who finished in 14th place.
Bay’s Jessica Mosier finished in 14th place on the girls side.
Division II swimming Northeast districts: Rocky River state qualifiers
200 medley relay – fifth place, advancing to state (Hallie McCue, Elise Pichola, Emma Flynn, Megan Jaite)
200 free relay – fourth place, advancing to state, (Lauren Devorace, Jaite, Haley Rosiak, McCue)
400 free relay – third place, advancing to state (Devorace, Pichola, Haley Rosiak, Flynn
Girls Individual Qualifiers
Devorace – 200 freestyle (second place, advancing to state meet), 500 freestyle (fourth place, advancing to state meet
Rosiak – 200 freestyle (11th place, advancing to state meet), 500 freestyle (seventh place, advancing to state meet)
Flynn – 200 IM (fourth place, advancing to state meet), 100 fly (fifth place, advancing to state meet)
McCue – 100 backstroke (third place, advancing to state meet)
* Flynn broke the school record in the 100 fly with a time of 59.07
200 Medley Relay – sixth place advancing to state (Eric Salberg, Chris Grant, Sam Stankivicz, John Armour)
200 Free Relay – third place advancing to state (Eric Kanner, Stankivicz, Salberg, Grant)
400 Free Relay – fifth place, advancing to state (Kanner, Armour, Salberg, Grant)
Salberg – 100 backstroke sixth place advancing to state
*Eric Salberg broke the school record in the 100 backstroke with a time of 55.07
North Olmsted gets two at-large state bids in Division I swimming